Sunday, 26 April 2015

Daily Feline Prompt: The Pawing System

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter?

The chicken

“Ok Tabby, you can have a chicken, but give me a tuna fish in exchange.”

“First of all Fluffy, how do you want to catch the chicken, and how will you get a tuna fish. Chickens are too big for your paws and tuna fish only exists in tins and Bastet is still working on the paw friendly tin opener.”

“Oh, you mean I have to deliver the real thing. I though it was a human thing, exchanging picture cards.”

“Fluffy, we are felines, we do not exchange picture cards. Do you see picture cards hanging on my wall? No, but you might see a few remnants of a devoured bird or mouse, if I happen to be lucky enough to catch one. Unfortunately as the years go bye, my reactions are not what they used to be, and as you do not see, it would be very difficult to work on such a system.”

“I don’t see, but I can smell and I feel the vibrations when livestock is nearby. With my special pawpad for blind felines (what’s blind?) I can collect my pictures online by feeling the outlines. I know, let’s ask Roschti, the ginger tom next door, if he has something to barter with?”

“Fluffy you have some strange ideas, but that is one of the strangest up to now. We do not talk with inferior felines and especially not with Roschti. The only thing Roschti might barter is a paw swipe and scratch, which I would only be too happy to exchange with him.”

“But Tabby, the last time you saw Roschti you ran away, so I don’t think even a feline fight would happen. And he is such a nice cat. I am sure he would let us have a tin of tuna fish for some catnip.”

“So am I Fluffy, but you see Roschti knows that the paw friendly tin opener has not yet been invented by Bastet, (may the gods inspire him) and so that would be typical Roschti. We would watch as he gets high on our best quality catnip and he would snigger behind his paws as we try to open the tin.”

“You mean bartering will not work.”

“Fluffy forget it. Play with your pictures and I will count my missed chances of kill in sleep.”

Daily Prompt: Barter System

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

Would anyone like to exchange a 68 year old body for something fresh and new and ready to go. No offers? Ok I cannot blame you, I wouldn’t either and Mr. Swiss says if I find a dealer, then he wants to join as well. I don’t do bartering, it is not the Swiss style. Either you pay cash or forget it. We bartered once in Marrakesh, but everyone barters in Marrakesh. You want a carpet, then no problem. Of course you do not pay the offered price, it is not done, so you have a little argument and feel proud when the seller accepts your price, about half as much as he offered. It was a Beduin carpet, very colourful and I believe we still have it in the cellar. They are probably used to sit on when riding your favourite pet camel. Anyhow no problem, the Moroccans do it, it is part of daily life. They even accept your credit card. In every bazaar in the souk they have a machine. I wonder why the Moroccan sales man was smiling so friendly when we completed the deal. I had a strange feeling.

Jamaa El-Fna market

This is Jamaa El-Fna market in Marrakesh, Morocco. No wonder the people are all standing and sitting. They are waiting for their turn to use their credit cards after a bartering session. Our supermarket system is just not geared to barter.

“200 grammes of Emmentaler cheese.”

“No problem, that would be three Swiss francs.”

“How much? That is far too expensive. It has more holes than cheese. I really think you should deduct the price of the holes. Let us make it 1.50 francs.”

“That does not work Mrs. Angloswissl. We do not barter in Switzerland, the holes are tradition and we have fix prices.”

“That’s Ok, but what about a deduction for the holes. You Swiss have been getting away with that for years. I am not paying for holes, so 1.50 francs.”

“Madam Emmental cheese is Swiss tradition. If it has no holes, it would not be Emmentaler. I am sorry but no reduction.”

“I am not paying for something I am not receiving, ok then make it 1.75 francs or I will go elsewhere.”

“Then I am afraid you must go elsewhere, but you will not pay less. Our Emmental cheese gives the best value for the money.”

“Then we will do a deal. Give me 200 grammes of Gruyere cheese, without holes. How much?”

“That will be 4 francs.”

“Just a minute. I can buy 200 grammes Emmentaler with holes for three Swiss francs and now I buy 200 grammes of Gruyere for four Swiss francs.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss Gruyere cheese has no holes. We cannot sell it at a cheaper price.”

“It is not logical. Sell me the Emmentaler for 1.50 Swiss francs and we will call it a deal.”

“No deal, Emmentaler 200 grammes 3 Swiss Francs with holes, Gruyere 200 grammes 4 francs without holes.”

“But I am getting holes with Emmentaler and I am getting no extras with Gruyere for 4 francs. It does not work out.”

“Mrs. Angloswiss you are confusing me.”

“And you are cheating me. Give me the Emmentaler for 1.50 and call it a day.”

The salesman threw the cheese at me, unwrapped, full of holes. Quite a bargain, I got it free, the pleasure of barter. I took it. He was screaming “I do not sell holes” and the last I saw he was wearing a white padded jacket when they fetched him with the ambulance for the clinic. I heard he recovered after a few months and is now selling cars. I think I need a new car.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Daily Feline Prompt: Bookfeline

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.


“Write a book - forget it. I do not have the time or the inclination.”

“Same here Tabby. What shall we write about, perhaps our life story.”

“Fluffy I cannot remember what I did five minutes ago, so I really do not know how I would write the story of my life.”

“I am sure there must be some interesting details. The first bird you caught, the first mouse.”

“More the first tin of tuna fish Mrs. Human opened”

“That’s it Tabby, the title. “My life with a tin of Tuna fish”.”

“No Fluffy, more “How to open a tin with paws and claws”, now that would be a best seller.”

“Definitely Tabby, I am sure we could write that.”

“Ok Fluffy, you start.”

“Err, yes well where shall I start.”

“Tell everyone how you do it.”

“That’s the problem Tabby, I have not yet discovered how to do it, have you?”

“Of course not Fluffy. If I did I would be famous, my book would be a best seller. The blurb would read  “Tabby feline tells us all about opening tins with the paw friendly tin opener. You will be amazed, upload it onto your Pawpads, now available from Amazon Felines Incorporated. The sequel follows soon “How to repair broken claws”.

“Do you think it will be a best seller Tabby?”

“Definitely, it will be worthy of a Pulitzer Paw Prize.”

Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) - My Worms live in the garden

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

The last time I did this prompt was on 24th January 2014, so why should I write it all again. I am not quite yet so senile that I change my mind after a year and personally speaking, I am good, I am great, and I find that my last answer was completely sufficient, so what more could I possibly say, except perhaps “Get Stuffed Daily Prompt” because they annoy me with their rehashed lazy prompts. Sorry, I am not a newbie, been around for many years and like to have fun writing.

In the meanwhile, No. 2 son just asked me why I have not got WhatsApp on my phone. I always felt I was completely covered with my iPhone SMS, although I noticed that my fingers are too big for the keys.  It seems that WhatsApp is free, costs nothing, so what could possibly be better. It was a matter of a few minutes and WhatsApp is now on my iPhone. I was warned by a certain person we do not wish to mention, that it could contain all sorts of spam, virus, attacks from outer space could now reach me over my iPhone. If you hear no more from me in the future, blame it on WhatsApp. Up to now I seem to be safe. So now to something completely different again.

The way home past Castle Waldegg

This would be the long walk home after one of my memorable marathon walks on a nice day in the country. It is the path leading from the cemetery which is an uphill path. I am not so keen on uphill paths, but I did not build the path. It was a matter of natural geology. Anyhow as you can see on the left there is a castle. It is our local castle known as Castle Waldegg. It was shining in the light of the sun so I decided to take a photo. I think I have at least 20 photos of this castle in my collection. In the background you can see the first chain of the Jura Mountains (there are 7 in all stretching to the Northern Swiss borders). If you survive to take the curve in the path, you arrive at the local stables where the horses are impatiently waiting for a visit from me and my camera.

“Hello Guiness” I called to my favourite Shire horse. “How’s Life?”

“Fine thanks, take my photo.”

Guiness the Shire Horse

“Do those flies bother you whizzing around your head.”

“No, not really, it is just part of a horse’s life in Summer. Don’t you have flies in your human stable.”

“Yes, but we just kill them with a fly swatter.”

“You see, we have a tail, so do not need a swatter. I do not have a big problem. Daisy and Bluebell, my favourite cows, are now in the field and with time the flies will arrive in their recycling processes and build a permanent home there, that’s life.”

I walked on, glad that Guiness, my horsey friend, explained some of life’s logistics. The next time I swat a fly I will have a completely different perspective. Perhaps it was born in Bluebell’s pancake on the field. 

I released today how life can be so lucky. I have an online friend, english, married to a Nepalese and has lived a few years in a village near Katmandu with his Nepal family. Only a couple of weeks ago he moved with the near family back to Europe for various reasons. Today there was a strong earthquake in Nepal, the epicentre being around the village where he lived. He has been trying all day to contact the relatives in and around Katmandu and has now heard that they are safe, although there is a lot of damage and some injured. My heart goes out to him and his family.

Sometimes in our little online world we are jolted back to reality with such events.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Daily Feline Prompt: Ring of Tuna Fish

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?

Tabby eating

“Pass me the cat nip Fluffy.”

“Just a pinch or a paw full?”

“Just a claw full. Where’s the tarragon?”

“Next to the vitamin pellets. What would you like to drink with it Tabby?”

“I think I will take a bowl of water, Grand Cru, preferably cooled.”

“I think you will have to wait for the water Tabby. It is only room temperature. I just heard Mrs. Human flush the toilet.”

“That would be ideal. Has she gone, is the door open to the toilet. Will quickly have a taste. Yes, that is perfect. What about you Fluffy? Is your food to your taste?”

“No problem Tabby. I prefer to take the cat nip after the meal, but as a hors d’oevre I like a spoonful of yogurt mixed with a little tuna sauce.”

“Really, yes I also like that, although I actually prefer tuna sauce pure and stirred, not shaken.”

“But tuna mixed with yogurt gives it such a creamy touch, a delicacy for the feline taste buds. Look Tabby outside, a mouse just walked across the garden.”

“Forget the dish of pellets, the tuna and the water. A mouse? Come on Fluffy, let’s go. How shall we have it served with or without?”

“I don’t care Tabby, if it moves kill it according to Bastet’s famous words, Chapter 2, verse 1.”

The Cows are here again

The cows on the field

Yesterday my partner in crime, Mr. Swiss, invited me to a walk. He found I had been cooped up long enough inside curing my cold and now it was warmer so it was time to do it again. He said even the cows were now let out of the sheds and are roaming the prairies of Switzerland. I decided to risk the fresh air and when such a good looking young man sends you an invite you have to accept, especially when you are compared t a cow.

I dragged myself into three-quarter length trousers and a t-shirt with seven mile shoes and we were on our way. It was a carefully planned route, not too far, as Mr. Swiss was also feeling some symptoms of age (so he said) and there they were. At a distance but the cows were in the field. I could hear them from the path.

“Look Bluebell, fresh grass and even some daisies in between. This is the real thing. None of that hay stuff.”

“Then don’t drop your recycling process on the fresh grass Buttercup if we are going to munch it. That really spoils my appetite.”

“Then go and eat some grass in another place. I drop my digested remains where I want to. Look the first flies are laying their eggs in it, how sweet.”

“Yuck, and I am supposed to eat it. You are spoiling my first day out. Look Mrs. Angloswiss is on the path with Mr. Swiss and she has a camera. Smile Buttercup, we might make it on a Daily Prompt.”

“You think so, they are not interested in nature, just making profits on their web site. On the other hand it will show all those nice friendly daily prompters that we have survived another snowy and cold Winter and are ready to go.”

And after taking a few photos we moved on to the cemetery. If you want quiet surroundings a cemetery is always a good place to sit and rest. I did see two other visitors, otherwise we had the whole place to ourselves which was quite good as we had no disturbances when taking photos. Time flies when you are visiting fun places and we decided to take the long walk home eventually. It would have been faster to branch onto the sidewalk on the main road, but we do not like this way. Too much noise and traffic and no cows or other livestock. We returned through the cemetery and then we saw Buttercup and Bluebell on their way home. Actually the complete herd was on its way home accompanied by its Chief Drover who had a remarkable likeness to a bloke known as Gil Favour from the old Rawhide series on the television.

Perhaps the cows were not going home, but were on their way to better pastures on the other side of Switzerland. On the other hand it seems that Switzerland has so many cows, they were better staying where they were.

Cows are very obedient animals and they filed in a neat row back to the ranch, one after the other. Of course I could not resist another photo. I spoke to the ranger in charge, and he told me that the next time he would let the cows graze in a field nearer to my camera, for some closeups. Here they are going home.

The cows going hom